Third Team Canada selection represents titanic milestone for Trina Graves

#80 Trina Graves

Representing the gold standard of elite performance in the Maritime Women’s Football League (MWFL), multi-talented Trina Graves continues to amazing with her gridiron wizardry. With multiple league titles, including a pair as the quarterback for the Saint John Storm, it only scratches the surface of her brilliance.

With an ever expanding list of awards and accolades bestowed upon her, perhaps the most intriguing element in Graves’ gridiron odyssey involves her versatility. Having played at both the offensive and defensive line positions on Canada’s national women’s team, this remarkable iron woman is just as comfortable in the role of field general.

Donning her trademark number 80, Graves has spent the last few seasons with the Storm as their starting quarterback. Boasting back-to-back championships in this role, it adds to a pioneering body of work that is destined to become legendary.

Graves (centre) hoisting the Judy Upward Trophy after celebrating the 2016 SupHer Bowl title (Photo credit: Simonds Stomp Football)

Such legend took on greater meaning during the summer of 2016, as Graves competed for Team New Brunswick, making her second appearance at the Canadian national women’s football championships. Four years earlier, the inaugural edition saw Graves suit up for Team Atlantic, an amalgam of players from both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

In spite of a podium finish eluding Team New Brunswick, Graves presence on the gridiron was impossible to ignore, greatness gleaming among Canada’s finest. Rewarded for her brilliance by gaining an invitation to a talent evaluation camp prior to the Holiday break in December, the feeling of jubilation would continue into the New Year.

With Football Canada naming their roster for the 2017 Worlds, Graves was among those who was named. For the iconic Graves, a member of Canada’s entry at the inaugural Women’s Worlds back in 2010, her reaction was one composed of many words, encompassing what it means to be part of this remarkable chapter in sporting Canadiana,

“Words that come to mind are blessed, grateful, and of course elated. To reach such a goal and be chosen again from a pool of such talented athletes is so gratifying and proves as fuel to work harder for team goals.”

Along with fellow Maritimers Alex Black and Olivia De Merchant, who also competes for the Canadian national rugby team, this titanic trio would comprise the MWFL representation for Team Canada’s entry at the 2017 IFAF Women’s Worlds.

In action with Team New Brunswick at the 2016 Nationals (Image obtained from:

In spite of Black being a rival at the MWFL level, one of the franchise players for the Fredericton (Capital Area) Lady Gladiators, their athletic endeavors have intertwined on multiple occasions. In addition to calling each other teammates on Team Atlantic and Team New Brunswick, each have been part of the Canadian national team since its inception. Undoubtedly, there is a strong sense of pride in sharing their landmark milestones together,

“For as long as I have known the name Alex Black, it has been synonymous with competition and a next level of play. Alex is a diverse player who brings a lot of skill and knowledge to the sport and I enjoy both playing beside her on the field, and against her in the MWFL.”

Along with Christine O’Donnell, Graves and Black are part of a very unique and celebrated sorority. Of all the players named to Team Canada 2017, this titanic trio are the only competitors to have been part of the Canadian contingent that competed at both the 2010 and 2013 editions of the IFAF Women’s Worlds.

“I feel a great deal of pride when it comes to the selection. I would have never thought back in 2010 during the inaugural event, that I would be back in the red and white again three years later in 2013; let alone seven years later in 2017.

I am excited too that I am able to share this event with team mates from both previous tournaments. I’ve met players/ coaches from across Canada and even a couple overseas that I never would have had the privilege to call friends were it not for football.”

While the privilege of being the first country in North America to host the Women’s Worlds coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday, adding to the sense of celebration in such an emotional year, there is no question that the greatest legacy of this event may be the opportunity to help expand the game’s influence significantly, truly establishing it from coast-to-coast.

For a player with the remarkable experience and acumen as Graves, she definitely looks towards the future with a feeling of great possibilities, elevating the game’s prominence, potentially planting the seeds for a new generation of female footballers that shall blossom into iconic and empowering role models that shall truly herald a golden era,

“I do not think Canada has come close to its potential in Women’s Football. There are so many areas that do not have leagues or even teams, and I hope that by hosting worlds in BC that it may encourage interest and get women out on the field. I’m also hoping for the media coverage these women/ teams deserve so we can show the world why we love to play.

Playing tackle football for me was never about wanting to play with the boys. Women’s tackle football is not a male dominated sport. It is a sport, dominated by women who wish to garner respect for their OWN skills on the gridiron and the incredible level of play that ensues.

I never ever want to be compared to the boys, but I DO want to be compared to the greatest female players. I want to BE one of the greatest female players, so that maybe even one young woman will look at me, at us, and say, ‘she is why I want to play football’.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply